How Much Does a Travel PCR Test Cost As ‘Scam’ Company Prices Investigated

In Greece and Italy, testing prices are capped at £ 34 and £ 52 respectively – and in France testing is free for French citizens. However, in the UK some companies charge up to £ 200 for a mandatory PCR

When the cost of a test is estimated at £ 20, why do many companies charge well over £ 100 and some over £ 500?

Boris Johnson has been urged to cap the cost of private Covid-19 testing amid warnings that customers are being ‘scammed’ by opportunistic companies.

A list of suppliers who meet minimum testing standards on the government website shows more than 100 outlets charging £ 200 or more.

Analysis of the list by the Liberal Democrats shows that only 11% of vendors offered testing for less than £ 50, with the cheapest prices ranging from £ 20.

Some 24% of providers were charging over £ 200 – with Mayfair GP Clinic listed at £ 575, although its own website says prices start at £ 399.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid has asked the competition watchdog to investigate the travel PCR testing market in response to concerns about the cost to families traveling abroad.

Have you paid an exorbitant price for a Covid test? Contact us: emma.[email protected]

Many unvaccinated passengers still undergo four tests in total


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Lib Dem health spokesperson Munira Wilson said: “The price of PCR testing for international travel is a scam and much higher than most other countries.

“When the cost of a test is estimated at £ 20, why do many companies charge well over £ 100 and some over £ 500?

“Testing is essential in our fight against the pandemic, but if it is safe to travel, it should be affordable to travel.

“The Liberal Democrats are calling on the government to cap the cost of PCR testing for international travel, remove VAT on testing, and cut the red tape that keeps prices high.”

Travelers who are not fully vaccinated arriving in England from Amber List countries, such as Spain or France, must self-isolate 10 days upon arrival and take a PCR test on the second and eighth days.

They may be able to get out of quarantine earlier if you pay for a private PCR test to be done on Day 5 as part of the Test to Release program.

Some airlines offer discounted package prices if you are a flying passenger


Nicolas Economou / NurPhoto / REX / Shutterstock)

Those with two vaccines only need to have a PCR test on the second day of arrival and can skip self-isolation – the same rules apply to those under 18, regardless of their status. vaccine.

Anyone returning from a Green List country only needs to have proof of a negative Covid-19 test before traveling, complete a passenger locator form and take a test the second day after. His arrival.

In Greece and Italy, testing prices are capped at £ 34 and £ 52 respectively – and in France testing is free for French citizens.

In a letter to the Director General of the Competition and Markets Authority Andrea Coscelli, Mr. Javid said: made so many sacrifices during this pandemic. “

He called on the CMA to conduct a “rapid high-level review of the PCR travel test market to assess measures that could be taken to ensure that consumers are not faced with unnecessarily high costs or excessive costs. ‘other mediocre performance’.

Javid added: “I also urge you to take action to prevent such exploitation where you can under your existing powers.”

A spokesperson for the AMC said: “We are aware of concerns about the changing markets for Covid-19 testing for international travelers.

“We look forward to providing the Secretary of State with advice on how best to ensure travelers have access to affordable and reliable testing.”

Consumer watchdog Which one? said time is running out to protect those going abroad this summer from price gouging.

“Which one? Has been warning the government for several months that the cost of private testing to travel to this country is comparatively and prohibitively expensive.

“Currently, an unvaccinated traveler on a return trip to Spain requires four tests totaling around £ 219 per person, and even if you are vaccinated it still costs almost a hundred pounds. Much of this cost is due to the high price of testing in the UK.

“While it is positive that the Autorité de la concurrence et des marchés has been invited to examine the Covid test market, it is disappointing that it has taken so long for this issue to be studied. The government must take action to ensure that private testing for travel is affordable for all UK consumers – not just those who are better off. “

What is the reasonable price to pay for a travel PCR test?

It all depends on where you are entering the UK from and your vaccination status.

On the main street, home-based PCR tests suitable for theft can cost around £ 65, or £ 85 for in-store tests, while private clinics tend to charge around £ 200. With that in mind, £ 65 is probably reasonable and will do, so you might want to use that as your maximum price or benchmark.

However, also check the airport as these vary by day. London Gatwick Airport walk-in and walk-in test centers currently charge £ 60 per passenger.

Some companies, such as Tui, offer test kits for as little as £ 20 per person making them more affordable, if you are traveling with them then check with your supplier. These are also more affordable for families.

Who? says the average price for a round trip to Spain is £ 91, which includes a pre and post trip test. This comes to £ 219 for four tests if you are not vaccinated.

A return to Greece also costs £ 91, or £ 173 for four tests if you are not vaccinated.

You can only visit France if you’ve been fully vaccinated – and the average price is £ 134 for all three tests on the Amber List country.

Italy costs £ 130 for all three tests or £ 173 for four tests if you are not vaccinated.

Portugal costs £ 130 (three tests) versus £ 173 (four tests).

Dubai costs £ 176 for three tests and £ 216 for four if you haven’t been vaccinated.

Can you see who is? full price guide here.

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